What Do We Do About These Flesh-Eating Zombies?

Dear Friend and Reader:

What exactly are we supposed to do? That’s the question. It’s a little like The Onion’s fictional lady, Christine Pearson of Topeka, who baked an American flag cake after 9/11, just so she could do anything at all.

“I had to do something to force myself away from the TV,” said Pearson, 33, carefully laying rows of strawberry slices on the white-fudge-frosting-covered cake, The Onion reported in its first edition after the Sept. 11 incident. Note: The Onion is parody, not fake news; the difference is a matter of intent.

He has human DNA, really.

We can do better than a flag cake. It’s just that these flesh-eating zombies are everywhere: you know, the ones who still think Barack Obama was born in Kenya, or who have Confederate flags flying from their pickup trucks (in Connecticut), or think that all three million people who voted illegally in California were undocumented Mexicans, or who think that the murder rate is the highest it’s ever been, or who are certain that Donald Trump is a thriving, self-made business genius. Hey, he sure is running the country like a business.

Or the women who don’t know what misogyny is, and who voted for someone who bragged about committing sexual assault. Or who think that there really was a terrorist attack in Bowling Green.

You know, the people deeply rooted in their world of alternative facts, who tell us that we are the ones who live in a bubble and laugh about how we didn’t realize what unmitigated assholes they are.

It is frustrating: this thing that sociologists call epistemic closure. There’s a term for it, which in essence means a closed information loop. Someone who watches Fox News and only Fox News, and is convinced that everyone else is deceived, and that no other facts are worth considering, has a closed epistemology. They might claim (and often do) that anything they don’t agree with is a lie.

Epistemology is the study of how we know what we think we know. Smart people ask themselves: how do I know this? Other people hear something and believe it if they like it — and for sure, mere belief as the standard for truth is most of the problem. (It’s most of the problem with astrology; most astrologers have not a scant clue how they know what they know, which I call the epistemology problem.)

People whose lives are dictated by epistemic closure are unlikely to change. For them, it’s an urgently necessary defense mechanism. And if nobody has said it recently, we don’t need them to change. In fact, the notion that they can change and that we might help them change is a trap. The alternate is not preaching to the choir; rather, we who approach existence with some curiosity and a touch of humor are the ones who need to get smarter, and teach one another to be smarter and more effective.

Practicing your religion is not about all those sinners; it’s about you being more faithful. This is the way out of ‘us and them’ thinking. Also, in no way must you be unkind to anyone; you just don’t need to give them your precious time and energy. You don’t owe your blood to any vampires.

Actual news photo used by The Onion in a parody article called, “Female Trump Supporters Just Feel More Comfortable with GOP Candidate Who’s Openly Horrible To Them.” This has a lot of people wondering.

I’ve done my bit interviewing Trump supporters, at some length. I probe them for what they think, and how they know that what they think is true.

When I challenged one about The Donald’s refusal to release tax returns, I was counter-challenged with the alternative fact that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and that he refused to release his long-form birth certificate, which is also not true and not related. This kind of thinking is indeed maddening. I hope you don’t share a bed with one of these people, but if you do, what I’ve got for you today may help you focus your purpose and keep your sanity. It’s true that we’re dealing with a political situation on one level, but it’s really a social situation, with deep psychological roots.

A conversation is actually happening, for the first time in a long time. The only thing more maddening about a Muslim ban would be nobody caring — and people do care (as indicated by many things, including hundreds of amicus briefs being filed with the 9th Circuit appellate court — for example by every major tech giant in the United States). As of today, the judicial branch has put a stop to the thing, and there was a hearing for the appeal Tuesday, which the president called a disgrace — and most people see how ridiculous that is.

The thing you must not allow to happen is for you to let anyone convince you that you’re crazy. When someone is absolutely dead wrong but won’t admit it, their only way out of that loop (for them) is to deny your existence; that is, you and all your annoying data. It’s essential to understand the psychological and emotional motive: if you are crazy, they are not.

The term “gaslighting” has come into popular use here in the Trump Age. (Incidentally, the word “trump” means to lie, or to mock, or to blow a trumpet. So it goes.) Gaslighting comes from the 1940 classic film Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.

Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in the final scene of Gaslight, after she’s figured out what he’s been doing to her. Remember — once you know the truth, it’s no longer gaslighting, it’s just codependency. And remember that gaslighting conceals a criminal motive.

To get the full effect, you need to feel the pain that Bergman’s character experiences at being convinced she’s going mad (in a time when that accusation could land someone in a mental ward, stripped of their rights, particularly if the accusation came from a husband). He has a criminal motive; gaslighting almost always conceals a crime. Please Netflix this great film and witness what this is really about. It’s about sanity.

You don’t need to convince anyone that they are nuts, or a liar, or a fool — nor can you. Rather, you need to hold your ground and really get that you are not crazy, in an environment where there is plenty, plenty designed to drive you crazy.

Over the past year or so, I have developed an understanding of this epistemic closure problem. A while back I was introduced to the work of a Cornell psychology professor named David Pizarro. What he discovered is that when someone considers themselves to be conservative, it may have nothing to do with their political beliefs. That’s why reasoning with them is impossible.

Rather, it’s about how disgusted they are. There is a growing stack of research that attributes the emotion of disgust (with rotten stuff, dead things, vomit, perspiration, etc.) with conservative political views: wanting to ban immigrants, being against women (and their bodies) or against darker people, wanting to keep guns ostensibly to shoot disgusting people, and so on. This theory impressed me when I first heard about it, but as I watched the Trump phenomenon develop, I noticed how often he said the word disgusting.

He was openly and admittedly disgusted by the notion of Megyn Kelly menstruating, or of Hillary Clinton using the restroom. So a few weeks ago, I wrote to Prof. Pizarro and asked whether he’d noticed that his theory was being demonstrated true before his eyes. He wrote back and shared this article in which he was interviewed, called Donald Trump and the Politics of Disgust.

I am emphasizing this point for the sake of our collective sanity. There is no reasoning with an emotional hang-up. It’s not lodged on the level of reason. It’s an emotional and biological nexus (most disgust involves the body). Don’t drive yourself nuts trying to reason. Rather, have some fun and get them talking about how disgusted they are, or just walk away from the conversation.

Now, back to that flag cake and epistemic closure. Many people want to do something. What can they do? Notice that I came out of the epistemology of politics (proving that these people who think that baldly racist Jeff Sessions, confirmed this week as attorney general, is a genius) and correlated it with the emotion of disgust. It’s essential to work with open epistemology. That is to say, you need to be open to new information and ideas on an ongoing basis.

After Megyn Kelly called out Donald Trump for his serial misogyny, he insulted her for menstruating. It should really puzzle you why any woman would vote for him after that, and there is an answer. Photo by Carlos Barria from the Des Moines Republican debate in January 2016.

It’s a fun game, thinking you know something and trying to disprove it. It’s fun to figure out why you believed something that was not true. (It’s less fun to figure out how someone got away with lying to you, but you need that information.) Once you figure out how little you know, you may find that you’re a lot more interested in actually finding out.

Then we need to address the problem of belief. David Bowie urged us not to “deceive with belief,” suggesting that it’s a form of a lie. The key to this is: don’t believe anything. Rather, consider it. Substantiate it, or knock it down. Yes, this takes effort, research, reflection and study, but mostly it’s a mental habit of not simply swallowing data, rumors, inuendos or something you read “on the internet” as true.

Be a little skeptical of what you hear; just like how you chew your food before swallowing, and if you bite into something weird, you spit it out. This is not about being cynical. It’s about saying, “Oh really!” to everything, with a bit of wry wit.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help your country and stem the tide of fascism, here are two ideas. First, learn one issue. Pick the one you’re the most interested in. It could be anything: NAFTA, reproductive rights, the KKK, who Steve Bannon is, oil pipelines, LGBT rights — whatever. Get to know that one issue. Track it in the news, dig into its history, and watch it develop.

Pretty soon, you’ll start to have little breakthroughs, and you’ll be able to spot truth and lies in the media — on that issue. You’ll start to notice where things are simplified to fit the format of TV or an article. Then, explain the issue to other people who feel like listening to you. Have fun with this, in the spirit of, “Wow, check out what I learned last night.”

With this, develop the skill of evaluating the analysis of pundits. Follow how they combine supposed facts and arguments. When you catch them lying, scream at the television and email the network. If you’re reading an article, jump into the comments and set the record straight.

Stephen Colbert during his takedown of George W. Bush, the White House press corps and the public during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner of 2006. Bush never recovered his reputation after this epic moment of political theater. What was interesting is that Colbert challenged Bush for his incompetence, the press for being inept, and the public for being hapless. He took no prisoners — and he lived to tell the story.

Still included with suggestion #1, there’s a skill you learned in school that it will help to remember, which is discerning between a primary and a secondary source. A primary source is (for example) a government document. A secondary source is an article or newscast about that document.

Just because someone said something on the news or in an article does not make it true. Just because something is an actual primary source document does not make it true; it still needs to be verified, if it’s going to be acceptable.

If you’re thinking this is all too much to bother with, you have your answer as to why Donald Trump is president. The most important thing you can do for your country, and for your sisters and brothers, is to use and develop your intelligence. It’s our most important natural resource, and we need to get it going. Keep asking yourself how you know what you think you know. Cultivate some pleasure in being proven wrong, as well as pleasure in figuring out you got it right. Then, be ready for new data to come along.

In this quest, we’re not seeking absolute truth. We’re seeking something I call “true enough,” a term my Canadian friends taught me. True enough means that something surpasses a certain threshold you’ve set, and will serve a purpose. Some jobs require a 3mm flathead magnetic screw driver. Some screws you can turn with a penny. This works intellectually as well. Use the right tool for the job.

As for suggestion #2, keep your sense of humor. This may take a little development or a refresher, though it will help you maintain your sanity, and it will help defeat evil. There is a relationship between wit and wits. Borrowing something I learned from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, sense of humor does not just mean ha-ha. Rather, it’s also about keeping your mind alert and limber, spotting the irony or intrigue in anything that gets your attention. Humor and curiosity are close cousins. I am fond of investigating why I find some things so funny.

Most of what we see going on is pretty ridiculous, even if it’s tragic and absurd and hateful. We use humor a lot to process these things in American society these days; most people are not ready to honestly address the grief of the situation. Yet humor really does help, and not just to make us feel better. Right now humor, including ridicule, is an important weapon (and it has deep roots as a spiritual tool, for example, in the Heyoka tradition of the Lakota people).

Melissa McCarthy portrays White House press secretary Sean Spicer on last week’s Saturday Night Live. If you see Spicer on TV or work in the press office, you’ll associate this unforgettable performance with him every time you see his face. Satire is a weapon against deception.

The people who are currently trying to take charge of the country and of our reality take themselves seriously, and their egos are extremely brittle. Well-done satire is devastating to them — as devastating as losing in court. They are proceeding based on being taken seriously, as heroes or as an actual threat. Neither holds up to laughter. Laughing is also a psychological indicator that you feel safe. (Jonathan Cainer was fond of saying, “And we’re laughing!” by which he meant, “Nothing to worry about here!”)

When Stephen Colbert skewered George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner one year, it became impossible to take Bush seriously again. (If you have not seen that, please treat yourself to watching it. Oh, I covered the astrology of that event here.)

Last weekend, Saturday Night Live ripped into White House press secretary Sean Spicer, with Melissa McCarthy portraying him as the petty tyrant that he is. This is not just funny. It exposes these people for who they are, and reveals their tactics for what they are. It has a deep personal influence on the butt of the joke, while it eases the pressure on the rest of us (including the White House press corps, who you can be sure are chewing the erasers off their pencils lately).

Many people are concerned that what we’re seeing resembles Germany in the 1930s, which it does in some ways. And we may indeed be on the slippery slope to fascism in the United States. One important difference is that we are not the hapless Germans of that era, easily convinced that the Jews are the whole problem. Rather, a great many of us are either showing up for pro-immigration rallies at the airport, or cheering the protesters on. I assure you, nobody was openly laughing at Hitler in Germany (Charlie Chaplin famously saw the irony and the tragedy).

At the moment, we are laughing and they are not. Keep your wits about you.


Aries (March 20-April 19) — The parity and potential disparity between what is happening in the veiled world of your 12th house (Pisces) and the expressed world of your 1st house (Aries) require special attention and understanding. This is truly a call to integrity in the form of conscious integration of facets of the psyche that often go unacknowledged. What I’m suggesting here is that it’s essential to bring the material of your inner process forward into your daily life, which would include being a more transparent person. And it’s essential that you bring the material of your outer life into your inner sanctum for careful review. This combination of factors, and others I have not mentioned, is likely to have an effect (among many) of focusing your sexuality. You will be perceived, and experience yourself, as more sexual, more appealing, and more desirous. Under these conditions, you must summon a measure of fidelity and intentionality around your sexual expression. This does not mean monogamous, though it certainly does not exclude that potential. Rather, it would be more complete to suggest that you stay in contact with the meaning of every sexual encounter you have, and allow its meaning to reach into the depths of your being. Your ultimate fidelity is to yourself, and it’s only when you feel and live that inner harmony that you can express it to others sincerely and meaningfully. It is rare indeed that people treat their sexuality as an aspect of their spiritual path, much less its core element. That approach would suit you. Eroticism moves energy; it’s inherently creative and a necessary part of life. Yours will be increasing exponentially.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may yet decide that this phase of your life, the Uranus-Eris era from 2010 through 2018, was the time when you really got to know yourself. It may not have felt like it at the time; you certainly have had your bouts with inner chaos and confusion. Yet you have deep motivation to sort yourself out. Now, enter Venus retrograde. Venus is the planet associated with Taurus. (If you know nothing else about your natal chart, definitely find out the details on your Venus placement: house, sign and aspects). Venus will be passing back and forth between Aries and Pisces. Then Venus will ingress Taurus on June 6, and will enter Gemini on July 4. So, including this most essential passage through your own sign, during which you will do much of the integration work, I am counting the Venus retrograde phase as extending from now through July 4. Let’s look at this closely: Pisces is your 11th house. This is where you relate to the public, whether it’s your circle of friends, the people who follow you on social media, or your readers, viewers or listeners if you’re in the media. The 11th describes how you relate to the wider world, and how you feel when you are visible to others. Venus will then transit into your 12th house, where you have a relationship with yourself that only you know about. There, you seem to make a discovery of some kind, which is related to the recent and ongoing fireworks in Aries (Uranus, Eris and other points). You may have the experience of soul retrieval, or making contact with a much earlier version of yourself — someone you will be happy to make contact with, or at least feel grateful because of the healing possibility involved.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — If you are in business, this may be a genius phase of development for you. You might also notice that you’re feeling somewhat scattered and agitated. This is where grounding comes in, and this looks like you’ll benefit from grounding in purpose. By that I mean invest your energy in staying on task. If you need help doing that, get help. However, purpose is about knowing why you’re doing something, and then doing it. This can take discipline, and cultivating that as a core-level skill will help you. Gemini needs to come to a consensus with itself. You really can feel like you have a committee inside your mind. Consensus is not about settling an argument. It’s best built from the ground up, first by agreeing on core principles. Therefore, that’s the place to start. Understand what is motivating you. Then translate that into priorities, which in turn you can translate into goals. Once you’ve done this work, it will be clear what to do in any situation. Prioritizing is essential, which means knowing what comes first. This takes commitment. For that, refer back to your core values. Now, the Mercury station-direct phase in late April and early May will have the influence of seeming either to awaken you or change your mind. When you encounter a discovery that relates to who you are, that’s the time to pause and re-evaluate your priorities. The essence of mental discipline is the constant focus on your values and your priorities. Know why you’re doing what you do at all times. Check back and make sure something is actually meaningful in the context of what you have determined that you want.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Mars retrograde was particularly poignant for you, as Scorpio is your 5th solar (or whole-sign) house, relating to your ongoing sexual experiment in life, and Sagittarius is your 6th house, relating to your healing process and your most practical version of spirituality. My take on the 2016 Mars retrograde is that it represented an initiation that will take some years to integrate, and that we count it as more of a natal chart feature than as something fleeting. The lessons revealed and the integration called for are ongoing and they are relevant to your growth at this time. The message in your solar chart, with Mars in your sign at the time of the 2017 summer solstice, is to embody the results of what you’ve learned. ‘Embody’ is a strange concept here in the age of disembodiment, though it’s a necessary idea. I’m talking about getting the material out of the abstract and/or intellectual realm, and into the realm of physical activity and lived reality. To do this, you must make decisions and stick with them long enough to test the result. It’s fortunate that Mars in Cancer is about passion; or, better, living passionately. Yes, it indicates strong feelings, yet what it’s inviting you to do is to live with full commitment. Living in peace with your desire is one commitment to make to yourself. As you do this, it will have an influence on your relationships. This is to say, as you raise your energy and commit to being real with what you want, others will take notice. Ultimately the result will be living in your body rather than in your head.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — For many people, it’s special simply to have something they care about, some purpose that drives them, even if they don’t make it their daily occupation. I think the spiritual seat of one’s true work is in the 5th house of creativity. This continues into the 6th house of day-to-day work and service. But the motive for why one would bother getting up every day has to be some creative impulse, which for you is blended impeccably with your spiritual connection. In essence, the secret to doing what you love involves working the connection between your 5th house Sagittarius (where spirituality and art merge into one thing) and your 6th house Capricorn (where you do what you do for its own sake, and to succeed at it for its own sake). The two signs you have on these houses are a perfect fit for meaningful independent employment. Yet the root of this energy, for you, comes from Sagittarius. Creativity is so crucial to Leo because of that spiritual connection. If you’re looking for Goddess or God, look no further than art, however you define art. It’s vital that you define this idea for yourself, and that you dive into some new expressions of the creative divine in your life. What is special about this year is that Saturn makes a long conjunction to one of the most sensitive points in Sagittarius, the Galactic Core at 27 degrees. This one event will cast its light on all the world, and be available to everyone; where it shows up for you is your devotion to your creative process.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Each breakthrough in self-relating is likely to help you feel a little younger. The way we see this is the ongoing transit of Pluto through your 5th house. The 5th is the house of pleasure and adventures in play. It should be the most active house in the life of a kid. In the case of Virgo, with Capricorn here, there’s that element of being forced to take on adult responsibilities or cares before you had a chance to fully imbibe and experience childhood. Pluto continues to open up your 5th house; which is to say, its movement represents experiences that are urging you to live with passion. Remember, this is about experience, not theory; and experience begins with an experiment. You might say that this is an experiment in coming out of your shell. For your objectives, anything that leads you to explore life merely for the purpose of fun is something that will serve you well. If you’re really feeling Pluto, that quest will become a bit obsessive, potentially subverting your usual sense of purpose, which is about living well and living seriously. Passion is about healing. Erotic sharing is about healing. Art is about healing. Humor and diversion are about healing. All of this will contribute to your integrity by allowing you to integrate rather than isolate those states of being. You could say that apart from all the psychological concepts attached to self-esteem, the experience you’re looking for is feeling good about who you are. This is a feeling, not a concept. Rather than strive for the feeling, the thing to do is give yourself the experiences that you want; the experiences that will enrich you and help you develop into your personhood.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — When determining the nature of your character and the necessities of your healing, it would be wise to look for patterns. It’s true that one event may complete the pattern and provide the clue that you need, but it has to be about the pattern — and that’s calling on you to be especially attentive. Venus retrograde begins in Aries and moves back into Pisces. That’s your 6th solar house, or if you’re Libra rising, your 6th whole-sign house. The 6th is the realm of healing, of service and of the good work that you do. Having Pisces on this house makes you sensitive; you are as close to a born artist as it gets. Your creative gift is associated with a spiritual gift, which in turn is about a healing gift. If you’ve ever felt the calling to provide healing through your work, or through your creative flow, I would say that’s worth responding to. And Venus retrograding into Pisces will take you there. This first must be read as a “heal thyself” aspect. It’s taking you deeper than the appearances of your relationships, deeper than self-concept, and deeper than the mirror in any form. Rather, Venus in Pisces is an occasion to feel yourself as a unified being, beyond the projections and the seeming needs of relationship. This can be a moment of genuine relief from the hall of mirrors, true or otherwise. Aries tends to polarize. Pisces is like soaking your body in the ocean and feeling one with it. The single most distinctive and life-changing aspect of Venus retrograde is that it ends in an exact conjunction with Chiron. The precise date is March 4, but leave a margin of about five days on either side for the full threshold.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Perhaps the primary transit is that Saturn is going to spend most of the year conjunct the Galactic Core. This is saying that while spirituality is natural and organic, for it to have meaning in the world takes time and discipline. Where Saturn shows up in one’s chart, there is a focus on business. By business I mean what you do with your precious time, creativity and energy. I also mean the business that you’re in. You know you’re doing the work of Saturn when you love going to work. Do you? Do you have a total investment in what you do, because you relate to its meaning? Sagittarius, which represents your values, demands that you live in a meaningful and relevant way. If you are bored at work, if you are concerned that you’re devoting your energy to something you don’t agree with, if you’re in a position where you must deceive others to make a living — and you’re aware of these things — then it’s time to raise the level of your existence to where you feel that you’re ethically aligned with your own choices and actions. I would propose that being aligned in this way is a foundation of true self-esteem. This is about your life having actual meaning. It’s easy for you to have theoretical meaning; Sagittarius is great at that. But actual meaning? That comes from sustained action and investment in yourself. Saturn and Sagittarius are a tense mix, though Saturn will push these issues until it gets your attention. Saturn is a constant reminder that you must work for what you want to be.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The 5th is the house of art, playful sex, and games of chance. It’s also the house of children and the kinds of fun that children like to have. You have Aries in this solar house (or whole-sign house), which in part describes why you’re so adventurous; yet Aries can have the feeling of being all about you, and you don’t necessarily need playmates to have a good time. Contrast this with the emotional complexities of the 4th house. With Venus retrograde across Pisces and Aries, you’re allowing a vent from the emotional pressures and healing work of your 4th to enter the expressive realm of the 5th. To me this looks like art therapy, sex therapy or play therapy. If you’re carrying any burdens, stress or tension from the Pisces zone, populated as it is by centaur planets that are making you focus on your healing process, Venus is saying: express yourself. At a certain point healing must become celebrating life, if it’s to be meaningful — or if it’s to have a purpose. What you’re likely to find is that creative self-expression puts you in contact with who you are. There’s plenty going on in Aries right now — it’s the seat of the hottest, boldest and most chaotic astrology in more than 50 years. But Uranus and Eris (which are in Aries) can be alienating and difficult to grasp. Venus makes Aries personal for you. Contact of Venus with Pisces makes it even more personal, and more emotional. Imagine that this course of events is creating an energy conduit from your emotional house of security (Pisces 4th) to that of sex, creativity and play (Aries 5th). If you use this, it will let off pressure.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Pluto has already compelled you to make many changes to the structure of your life, whether this has involved your previously most stable relationships, your home, your profession or, most of all, what you thought was the trajectory of your existence. When we move your charts up to 2017, a few things become apparent. One is that this process is still in full force, and that you’ll encounter some peak experiences of growth and self-discovery. By peak I really mean personal breakthroughs on a level you’ve never experienced. This is indicated by a subtle factor: in the conjunction of Pluto and asteroid Icarus in the most recent Capricorn solstice chart. Pluto gives the depth and the power of change; Icarus describes the craving to do this in big ways. That’s the thing about Icarus: it makes one want that experience of peaking, and its expression is often dramatic. Here’s the thing: Capricorn is like the surface. It’s more about your personality than what you really are. As a personality factor, it would be impressive (and often still is), were Pluto not in your sign revealing something deeper. The real changes from Pluto happen when you open up and something else is revealed. One thing to remember is that your integrity is not linked to your being unchanging. In fact, your integrity is about your ability to change in helpful ways, and not to resist what you need the most. As well, you must be honest with yourself and with others about your uncertainty. It’s all too tempting, in times of profound change, to attempt to cling to some form of fundamentalism or false security.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Belief is not only less threatening than reality, it seems more solid, and this has led to our world of people living in bubbles, believing anything they click on — as long as it appeals to them. Now Saturn is about to encounter the Galactic Core. You might say that all of this worldly jetsam and flotsam will be neatly cooked off by this long contact with the Galactic Core. This is religion meeting the religious experience. It is the holy roller actually encountering the Holy Spirit. It’s the philosopher having an experience of unspeakable truth. Whether this manifests for you in a dramatic way is an open question; that it will manifest in some way is a given. This represents a personal change for you; it represents a change in society to some degree (we shall see to some extent); and because this is in a public house in your chart, it represents a reorientation on your relationship to your community. More than anything, though, this event describes a transformation for you personally, and the context in which you relate to the world. Both are changing at the same time. The upshot of this transit is that you know that it’s up to you above all else to have faith in humanity. This is not about idealism or some form of light spirituality. It’s about the actual work of evolutionary growth. It will not be all sweetness and starlight; to do the right thing, and to accomplish what you need to accomplish, you may encounter some of the more shadowy sides of human nature. You will be able to withstand this if you maintain your integrity at all times, and come back to it as soon as you notice you’ve digressed.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — If we take Chiron in your sign as a delegate of Sagittarius (in the context of the quest), there really is no mission, career or vocation: there is you, becoming who you are. I feel like I keep saying this, though this notion keeps coming up in your astrology. You’re not really changing; rather, your inner essence is emerging in a way that is both unstoppable and undeniable. And this you can express as mission. Don’t be deterred. If something seems to be difficult, or taking too long, persist. If funding is an issue, look for innovative ways to get the money flowing. Look for and address waste. And be bold about seeking support. You are perceived as someone in leadership, and you have significant respect from people of influence and high ethical standards. If you need something, ask for it, and don’t spend any time justifying your goals — just state what they are. The relationships between many signs and planets in your chart — including your own sign, plus Libra and Sagittarius, and Venus, Jupiter and Saturn — are the very image of dharma: acting as if to hold the world together. Speaking of holding the world together: for the allegedly laid-back, guitar-strumming, wine-sipping, peace-and-love, noncommittal stoner image that many people have of Pisces, you sure do care about this. You take a formal view of people and society; it’s fair to say that you have inherent respect for the world. This is demonstrated by Capricorn on your 11th house. The 11th house is about groups, and it’s also about your highest ideals. It’s about your standing in the community. And it’s about the revenue you receive from answering your professional calling.

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